Planned Obsolescence: Why Electronics Don't Last Long | ENDEVR Documentary

Planned Obsolescence: Why Electronics Don't Last Long | ENDEVR Documentary

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00:00
there are so many things we can do today operate by heart by long distance clone sheep even the entire human genome has been decoded thanks to the web we seem less stupid as we combine all of our knowledge from the four corners of the world you can hold global meetings remotely while following the live tweets that recount the overthrow of qadhafi in just three clicks one can see the village of obama's grandmother right there it may not be that interesting but it can be done
00:31
nowadays you can also take a nap at 300 kilometers an hour and it should be added that our life expectancy keeps growing by an average of three months every year and yet there is at least one thing in our lives that is not improving that doesn't work it's something you're probably experiencing right now [Music] it's about to leave you you're both depressed and angry you're haunted by the wastefulness of it a breakup as unexpected as it is premature
01:06
this is the moment of truth so be honest oh television why do you want to leave me have you been programmed for this you want to stop me watching the investigation don't you when a device is built so that it lasts only a few years forcing you to buy another that's known as planned obsolescence [Music] in theory the question is simple does your washing machine your microwave your refrigerator your vacuum cleaner coffee machine or mobile phone have a part that's broken
01:44
in 10 years time harmony will rain everywhere maybe do our devices contain one or more fragile components deliberately inserted by the designers to shorten their lives [Music] the simple fact the question is asked is enough to trigger the wrath of the manufacturers it's a myth they scream yet another conspiracy theory to add to all the others so we wanted to know if this planned obsolescence really exists or not or whether it was made up by militant
02:18
environmentalists angered by rabid consumerism [Music] i think it is a trend in the way that the equipment is built that it is not built to be repaired should it fail it's built to be replaced and to do so it's necessary to create what's called programmed obsolescence programming in other words to play up the quality of the object in order to sell it and then make it appear obsolete or close to it once
02:54
the main preoccupation of any commercial salesman is to sell a maximum of his goods at maximum profit so we find ourselves over saturated with objects of all kind it's therefore unclear how if these objects had been built to last how this whole system could work let's stop throwing stuff out the manufacturer can produce better objects that can last for longer even if the price is higher impossible so you would think it a good idea to investigate all sorts of
03:31
electronic appliances we chose just a few and even so we were soon loaded down but our little tour of the industrial world has shown that planned obsolescence is often a little more complex than a simple broken part damn one thing is certain manufacturers who do it use our passion for shopping and our insatiable need to keep buying things [Music] take for example the old cathode ray tubes your old tv like millions of others for the
04:06
transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting you put it in the trash it was too old too fat instead in your living room you've installed a brand new flat screen yes the picture is better so is the sound and the design is trendier in the meantime our desire for better and smarter objects has led to the doubling of sales of flat screen tvs since they were introduced in the mid 2000s but basically your old tv worked very well and would last
04:36
far longer according to this recent study by the 60 million consumers association compared with cathode ray tv sets the passage of time is cruel to lcd and plasma sets i.e flat screens they age faster in terms of brightness 40 less in just two years and also in terms of colors how can an object that's full of technology be less durable than the big old tv set
05:11
[Music] in the small shop in paris such as few exist anymore there's all kinds of stuff in these drawers small multi-colored parts electronic components resistors diodes capacitors the vital organs of our flat screens [Music] that's a bad sign with the soldering iron our two electronic experts alex alrimbo and francois bishi how can i help you this lady is here to
05:43
have her tv's electronic card repaired what brand of tv is that [Music] a few minutes later another e-card lands on the counter what is this it's a tv card or what kind of tv it's a plasma or lcd well it's a same problem the samsung tv again alex seems blase about it what is going on with samson well there was a power surge in a few months later it broke down
06:29
so it's the capacitor apparently [Music] are the capacitors this is one of the culprits the swollen and cracked cylinder what french technicians call a cauliflower a capacitor with a puncture and the tv won't come on does this happen often well i'd say anywhere between 5 and 10 times a day given the high demand for this product we stock it by the thousands paris would seem to be in the grip of an epidemic of broken capacitors
07:02
another customer has the same problem his tv is just three years old did you bring it back to where you bought it oh yes but it was 200 years just to take it in for a repair for a quote and on the forum they say they deliberately use capacitors that will break down quickly anyway i bought another one in the meantime oh yeah well that's programmed obsolescence to limit its lifespan by fiddling with the voltage it'll fade away much quicker so it's done on purpose but how well all
07:34
manufacturers are right on the edge of what well why put in a much larger component that will cost a lot more when it's fine for two years that's enough that's being on the edge the minimum everyone's got their opinions don't they francois samsung is the most popular because it's the cheapest and they're the cheapest because the manufacturers use cheap components we decide to leave a chart in the store where customers can write the brand
08:07
how old the tv is and why it broke down [Music] two weeks later we returned to the shop and wait in line like everyone else before interviewing alex rambo who's as much in demand as ever alex we left you a chart here it is not every customer filled out the form but there are 18 who did which are those that break down the most often very often at samsung there's lg and toshiba sometimes it can be any brand really but mostly
09:02
it's samsung there are a lot of returns and a lot of maintenance for this brand so looking at our chart again it would seem that the average age of a television that has broken down is three and a half years old that's not very old actually in this day and age three and a half years is not bad actually do you think it's good oh yes anyway it evolves very quickly the new technology makes you want smaller flatter and inevitably it makes it overheat and the hotter it gets the hotter the
09:34
capacitors what do you think people who don't come to see you do with their old tv sets well unfortunately they end up being recycled thrown out because to get the power board replaced at the store or by samsung costs 280 euros for this yes for the card what do you charge 21 euros so they just throw out their tvs or they're forced to buy another because most dealers say it's not worth the cost of repairing throw away and buy again all because of
10:11
those damned capacitors in samsung's case they would appear to have a short life span at this point it's impossible to know whether samsung is deliberately programming it this way after all it is the market leader so perhaps it's to be expected that there will be more cases of failure but one thing is certain what happens in paris is true for all of france well this is a workshop that specializes in flat screens in the ardesh region of southeast france francis de la foy runs a flight screen repair service he's the head of a network of 600
10:41
independent specialists based all over france he's gathered together all the defective components from across the country and has mapped each complaint now you asked your network throughout the country to track recurrent problems and what they've sent you are mainly issues with capacitors most of them involving lg and samsung that's it yes and it's not just one model wherever it is in france in the north south east or west it's exactly the same thought these are recurring failures at
11:15
with information collected from his network frances de la foie sums up four regions in france no capacitor failure reported for some major brands of tvs on the other hand the majority of faults with lg and samsung are due to capacitors for samsung it's between 50 and 85 of failures which is a lot when the tv is on it heats up the lifespan of the capacitors depends on the heat here for example a list of four more or
11:46
less reliable capacitors at 85 degrees centigrade model one will last 2 000 hours the second at 105 degrees centigrade 1000 hours so it's a fragile model the third model 2 000 hours and a tougher one 5 000 hours still at 105 degrees centigrade the hotter it gets inside a television the less resistance the capacitor what it means in a product in this case a flat screen is that if it's unfortunately enclosed or the temperature in both the room and inside the unit is high or if
12:18
there's no interior fan well that will shorten its life and at that point the set will especially if the screen has been aesthetically placed in a wall or near radiator as it will heat up even more [Applause] [Music] but it does depend on the manufacturer and where they've situated the capacitors inside the flat screen because the interior is a maze packed with components it overheats sometimes right behind the screen at compien near paris we meet up with nikola patel
12:57
the job of this lecturing researcher is coaxing the condensers to prevent them from aging too quickly inside the tvs because in the field of electronics the capacitor is not known for its stamina [Music] so this is a power supply board from a samsung flat screen it's marked on top right there it takes the expert's trained eye to spot a problem straight away you see here the capacitors have been placed near a radiator so the components close to it heat up
13:29
and that means that they will wear down more quickly than if they've been the radiator is this large grey metal piece its role is to take the heat from the diodes that have been attached on top and dissipated the hot air escapes through the sides of the radiator and also through the other side exactly where the capacitors are which is true but heat remember is their weak point so the moral of the story is capacitors on certain models of flat screen samsung's like this one
14:04
are too close to the radiator of course all manufacturers will tell you you can't just put a capacitor any old place on an electronic circuit board they need to be not too far from the components nor too near the radiators but why then do samsung's capacitors fail so often were they made to break down so quickly are they programmed you'd probably want to ask samson that question wouldn't you but calling the director of group communications in france
14:38
all we get is a voicemail box yes hello florence cattel this is elise lucey from france 2 television i'm ringing because we'd really like to interview a senior executive such as the marketing manager or the vice president of samsung france for example while we wait for the communication office to get back in touch our investigation continues on the table are some of the now useless samsung capacitors from workshops we've visited they cost only 16 euro cents apiece it's the cheapest on the market couldn't samsung install capacitors that
15:12
are a little more expensive but would last longer [Music] these are all the capacitors we found nikola patan the electro mechanical researcher wants to show us that there are far more resistant capacitors with the same technical characteristics this range still works at up to 150 degrees with an operational time of 27 and a half thousand hours at 105 degrees centigrade 27.5 thousand hours five times longer than the capacitors samsung is using
15:44
and here's a slightly larger component its diameter is 16 millimeters and it's three centimeters long um a little larger by a few millimeters and also more expensive at around four euros a piece four euros instead of 16 cents for a life span that's five times longer the price of durability is quite high but maybe it's not that high not that high indeed if they make their components larger it may cost a little more but
16:22
it's really about selling less of their products but the aim of a manufacturer is not to sell a tv every 20 or 30 years the electronic equipment inside is generally designed to have a reasonable lifespan for the consumer and also to satisfy the manufacturer so if 10 more or less fragile capacitors and a tv set were replaced by bigger and tougher versions you could estimate that we'd get a tv that works five times as long and costs just 50 euros more
16:57
[Music] my dear lady wouldn't you want to have a tv that lasts five times longer for just an extra 50 euros oh i certainly would precisely because when we buy our nice flight screen samsung for 400 euros we don't suspect that it will give up the ghost quite so quickly but on the other side of the atlantic in the united states in 2012 the news shows were filled with reports like these does your tv take a lot of time to power up if you own a samsung you're not alone tonight samsung is
17:28
admitting that millions of its flat screen televisions may have problems that cause them to just shut down millions of samsung's that fail to work and the same scenes as in europe dozens of tv sets and repair shops all with the same capacitor problem so people need to know that this can be fixed absolutely they don't have to throw out the tv absolutely it's exactly the same thing as in france and elsewhere in europe the same brand with the same characteristics except that in the u.s consumers gang together and brought a class action suit
18:03
against the global tv brand leader samson problems are so massive class action lawsuits have been filed in three states late today we uncovered documents showing more than seven and a half million people could have defective tv seven and a half million americans found themselves with broken down tv sets the brand offers an amicable settlement and says it will pay repairs to the tune of three hundred dollars per set u.s courts have approved the agreement in a statement samsung said that these
18:35
problems affected only one percent of its total sales in the united states but the figure is very difficult to verify on both sides of the atlantic we all have the same question did samsung executives deliberately decide to limit the lifetime of some of their flat screens did they use poor quality capacitors and did they place them near the radiator so they'd heat up faster is that why they shut down or on the contrary did samsung just want to keep costs down and has no hidden agenda
19:11
[Music] in his workshop on the street corner alex has his own thoughts about that samsung originally chose to make an electronic board card with cheap capacitors but the problem is that they also need to compete in the market to get the best value for money you need to reduce the purchase price of capacitors well the impression i have is that samsung has a real interest in using capacitors that will quickly overheat and explode just to sell
20:13
do you agree though that there are other manufacturers that well they have to be careful if they want in a way to see a lot of return goods wouldn't that also prove negative for them [Music] i mean i have friends who say no i won't buy a samsung now so they shouldn't head off too far in that direction so they they're taking risks oh yes they're taking risks but in the new range and we're seeing the cards also starting to come back in they've
20:44
changed their oh really policies well they've moved the capacitors further away from the heat dissipators so they say cooler and this time they've made sure people like me can't fix this problem because what they've done is designed a new capacitor that can't be bought anywhere on the market so that means even if you're a repair expert you're excluded you can no longer repair the circuit boards we will no longer be able to repair the circuit boards or the next generation of ultra slim screens
21:16
so then for once we really will need to buy a new tv so the old capacitors don't last long but they can be changed the new ones would be more robust they have an unusual shape more elongated but now they're impossible to replace that's a lot of unfortunate coincidences don't you think our first requests for an interview with samsung have come to nothing so we start i'm somewhere in the again school right now but please do this after the 10th thank you
21:49
yes hello florence qatar it's elise luce again from france to television i really would like you to call us back even if it's just to tell us that you don't want to do an interview if that's the case and apparently it is the case as samson's head of communications is only on her voicemail [Music] is not available please leave your message after the tone yes hello florence cattell it's elise lusay phoning you up again do you know florence in paris or in france
22:21
well she should be here as far as i know i can pass on the message and i'm sure they'll return your call goodbye we ended up being seriously worried where is samson's head of communications florence cattell she lost in the rainforest has she been kidnapped where is she hiding in the desert the north pole [Music] the only message we've received from her was this text hello sorry for not getting back to you sooner but unfortunately
22:58
we'll not be able to respond to your request for an interview on innovation as hard as it is to believe there exists in france no completed independent study on the evolution of the lifespan of major household items the only known survey was conducted by the jafan group according to the study published in 2011 the durability of our products has barely fallen in 30 years refrigerators washing machines in 2010 as in 1979 lasts for an average of 10 years you can be the judge of just how independent
23:28
jafan really is jifam is a trade association that promotes the interests of bosch brandt candy and siemens oh yes and lg and samsung too in fact all of the major brands large and small [Music] hello mr plank how is it that after 30 years manufacturers have still not managed to make longer lasting fridges or washing machines we asked for clarification from bernard planck the managing director of gfam
24:06
[Music] in this day and age there's remote surgery we talk to anyone from anywhere all the time we can send emails around the world but we haven't managed to make something as simple as a fridge last longer well you'd think we could increase the lifespan of appliances like that but this study shows us a second possibility that in fact the use of such appliances has increased dramatically no but that's to be expected and frankly when you see the new technology that's around today
24:41
look 25 percent of households use their washing machines almost every day yes but it's not that obvious because people reported using it eight percent refrigerators eleven percent more that's not much either your argument that they used more doesn't really stand up does it because ultimately the appliance's lifespan is not longer yes these are statements from people who say eight percent do you mind can i uh oh please they are your papers people's perceptions a lot now let me
25:17
just check the numbers let me have a look through it i'll go up go ahead it's yours the fridge is used far more frequently now than 15 years ago let's look at the whole document in fact the households that say they've used stuff more often aren't that many it's eight percent here 11 there eight here again it's not much well you know when you say it doesn't last longer because they use more frequently well it's not really the case is it
25:51
well it is a factor but listen i can't tell you because your theory is that new technology should mean the appliances should last longer well thanks to new technology well thanks to new technology well yeah but the survey we did show that nearly 75 of consumers are satisfied with the duration of their equipment 75 of people are satisfied the only trouble is there's no such figure in the study and besides there's another problem the tns software's polling institute which carried out the study based it on the
26:25
findings of a survey from 1977 which was made public in 1979 and commissioned even then by chifan this old study serves as the point of comparison with the 2010 results which is how g fan can conclude that the lifespan of our equipment has not diminished worryingly however there is no trace of the old survey or that survives is a very small paragraph in an old gfa publication so how credible in fact is the current survey which was in the press last year praising the reliability of
26:59
products which is based on a now vanished and therefore unverifiable study even tns software's carries a health warning under the results table having only a part of the results of the study conducted in 1979 it says we cannot determine whether the difference is significant or not when you make a comparison it's obviously important to have the point of reference so we looked for the 1977 survey yes i know but unfortunately i don't have that study it was 30 years ago so you made a comparison of the study
27:30
that you don't have well we have the results which softwares have validated i'm sorry but all of this is based on just three small lines here which is all that remains of the 1977 study nothing more the study we conducted is an analysis of the time values of the appliances in 2012 but you made a comparative study between 1979 and 2012. it's here i can show you no wait i'm sorry i i'm i'm a bit like colombo the detective am i tied with all my papers but at the same time i'm not an
28:04
expert as you are on these documents now we agree don't we that you have the amount of time that we use in 1979 and in 2010 so you need to have a but it doesn't exist anymore you told us yourself you don't have it we have the results we conducted the study i no longer have the documents the actual questionnaires because that was 32 years ago i'm sorry i wasn't there at the time you can't blame me for that surely no not at all it's just the starting point for the study doesn't really exist anymore
28:42
what i can tell you is that this study is real it exists and we wouldn't invent one study just to publish another okay well let's just move on then listen i'm not happy at all because this isn't how you said this interview would be no no it's not how you presented it and if i knew it would be like this i would not have come i'm very unhappy i'm going no mr plank wait please uh we're investigating the life span of appliances it's natural that i asked them to give me all the questions before but we never do that well you never do well all right fine we don't do that well we don't do that for
29:15
anyone whether it's the president of the republic it's nothing against you all right it's always the same no i'm sorry i've had enough of it we really want to allow you to speak and that's how to shorten the lifespan of an interview in the meantime if jiffam finds its 1979 study we would know whether or not its 2011 study on the lifespan of products is reliable or not fragile components that break down too quickly an inconvenient leak about the limited
29:46
lifetime of a computer a lack of reliable statistical data obsolescence more or less subtly programmed comes in many forms in recent years a new trend is emerging making repairs of a product impossible or very difficult the goal of a major brand is to ensure that there is no more competition in other words to create a captive market so how do you create a captive market first by making this product incompatible with those of the competition now apple has done that and secondly by preventing repairability
30:17
which more or less forces the consumer to move on to the object's next generation a little lesson in modern economy even if it means making something irreparable as long as everyone buys it an object the public cannot do without something that's become an essential part of life look no further than the end of your arm a mobile phone [Music] the key to its obsolescence is battery [Music] apple the world's coolest company
30:59
initiated the fashion for the built-in battery before making it standard in its mythical iphone apple learnt this with the ipod the mp3 player it released in 2001. boom but a new york artist casey neistat discovers after 18 months of use the battery in his ipod is dead and it can't be changed he shoots a video seen by thousands on
31:29
the internet casey takes his revenge by daubing the walls of manhattan with this slogan the non-replaceable battery in the ipod only lasts 18 months what follows is a class action complaint filed by a group of american consumers tonight in the show's biz ipod battery backlash over 12 000 people filed a class action lawsuit against the company because they said the battery just wasn't up to snuff the complaint the battery had too short
32:06
a life and was too expensive to replace apple pays 15 million dollars in purchase vouchers and changes the batteries of more than a million plaintiffs everyone is happy [Music] then here we go again this time for the iphone launched in 2007 admit mass hysteria an internet communicator this is one device and we are calling it iphone but nobody is perfect the battery can
32:38
still not be replaced apple strikes again this lawyer is the first to attack the company's racket harvey rosenfield stirs up a hornet's nest and sends steve's jobs an offensive letter we urge you to prominently disclose the actual battery replacement costs and replacement process in order to ensure that no consumers are misled i'm always you know as a consumer advocate i'm always amazed at what consumers will tolerate harvey rosenfield will never receive a
33:15
response from apple nor will the journalists who ask the same question why doesn't the iphone have a removable battery we obtain these internal apple emails which take a wicked pleasure using a smiley emoticon to respond with a no comment in response two lawyers file a suit against apple again and again the company avoids going to trial and offers to negotiate with the
33:47
[Music] plaintiffs did apple and at t pay money to the plaintiffs yeah apple and att settled the case that's all i could tell you because it's confidential but most of the time the settlements it's like they pay money that is correct a conventional transaction the company avoids a trial by paying off the plaintiffs this method doesn't always work however especially with mj
34:19
a former employee of apple mj trained the assistants in apple stores the brand's boutiques today she is highly critical of her former employer's methods so he was not happy there i was almost the entire time until i started asking questions like that and i started being a little more persistent but then i would ask some of our managers and some of the people that were in like in-store leadership and it didn't take long for me to realize that i wasn't actually going to
34:49
get any answers it was just a cyclical conversation where i would say i think it's silly that we can't replace the battery and they'd say yeah well and then repeat the same things they've always been repeating so it was like talking to a brick wall eventually [Music] mj now works for a smaller company which she prefers it's called ifixit a merry band of troublemakers who repair things the engineers at ifixit have their own manifesto how to fix everything oneself included and their emblem is the fist
35:23
and wrench on their website they provide free repair manuals and they sell tools or parts which is how they earn their living [Music] to see what's wrong they open up the devices and take pictures from every angle it's something they make clear is very difficult a completely ridiculous design demonstration by mj and kyle wiens her boss it just makes me i never thought i'd say this but miss when i was carrying a blackberry because
36:07
it was so easy to get in and take the battery out you could carry like three extra batteries with you if you wanted yeah finally i got this little piece of it off that's where the antennas are now you'd think that it would be straightforward like they've even got some screws here but now you have to pop the metal tabs on the sides and that's going to take me another half hour so this is the battery and this is this other connections here so if you want to replace it you have to learn the solder
36:43
get the soldering equipment in the next iphone model the battery will no longer be welded but glued fast to the bottom of the hull a nightmare to change and in the latest model the 4s the battery is screwed into the machine but still no lid so you still can't change it for kyle the role of the irreplaceable battery is obvious that premature death clock that they're building into it by building in a consumable
37:15
is designed to increase the number of iphones apple cells by making them last less long and that is how a bunch of kids in flip flops barely 30 years of age are standing up against the global giant of information technology on one side electric drills and screwdrivers and on the other the most massive profits in the history of electronics with each new iphone apple changes the technical specs to ensure the battery is well enclosed and every time ifixit manages to undo their work
37:48
hi i'm mj with ifixit and today i'm talking about apple's insidious plan to sabotage our iphones at the beginning of last year mj caused a stir on the ifixit site with this ski the other side of the duck people bringing their iphone 4 into the apple store for repair have found their phillips screws have been unceremoniously swapped with the apple five pointed screws in an effort to keep people out of their iphones bloggers and commenters alike are referring to these special five-pointed screws as security torx screws and it's making me crazy
38:19
apple has quietly totally changed the screws on its iphone 4. this one on the right has slightly more rounded ones than the one on the left so now it's impossible to open the iphone 4. will ifix admit defeat not a bit of it including a new product that i'm very excited about our iphone 4 liberation kit a freedom kit for the iphone available for seven euros with a pentalobe screwdriver two standard screws to replace the nasty ones modified by apple and a conventional screwdriver that comes with it to open it up again later
38:50
it's the cheapest way we could find to remove the tamper resistant screws an apple certified repair technician to take out a couple of that mj is proud of her secret weapon but when the video was released her former colleagues at apple weren't overly impressed they called me a traitor as if i'm being disloyal to my country or something it was kind of funny um and and they just kept repeating all the same things that they had been saying well the screws are there to keep people out because we don't people are hurting themselves
39:23
and it's like you can't really believe that attacking apple is blasphemy an act of treason [Music] except and you may have noticed everyone here works on mac or has apple products a bit contradictory now i love apple we use all apple products i think it's great apple has made a lot of repairable products and we really encourage that when we see it but what we've seen in the marketplace is that the harder that you make a device to
40:01
repair the fewer things get fixed and the less long something lasts on average and so we're trying to do everything we can to reverse that cycle reverse the trend to pollute less it's always the same story as we said at the beginning it's to reduce the tons of waste this is one of the true motivations of mj kyle and the gang computers monitors hard drives of all brands all obsolete kyle went to ghana himself to shoot this video
40:36
today apparently there's not much to say apple keeps its customers informed the happy owners of an iphone know exactly what they're buying except on the apple website you need to look hard to find the information indicated in a small inset on the right we see the optimal service life of the battery's 400 cycles or 400 recharges and to replace it another three clicks away it costs 75 euros in france 79 dollars in the united states quite a hefty price if you're not aware
41:07
that ifixit sells new batteries for 20 euros each and you don't have the patience to dismantle your smartphone yourself chances are you'd go directly to the apple store and this is what you'd be told by the apple assistant something we filmed with a hidden camera you've got an iphone 4 on a contract to your contract with att 99 to replace the battery here 79 so 20 ago you would have screamed and now you think it's completely normal for example look at this happy customer who's just forked out 500
41:55
for the new apple ipad show me your ipad too he had the previous model but he broke it after just five months didn't you try to replace the screen or to fix it because uh fixing it cost 250. so 250. yeah to replace the screen [Applause] the price of repairing an object compared to buying a new one has come under the microscope of france's environmental and energy conservation agency
42:31
what they found is the consumer is willing to pay for repairs if it costs less than a third of the new device [Music] below this threshold repair is systematic between 33 and fifty percent of the price of a new object then ten percent of people are still prepared to have their device fixed over fifty percent of the cost is extremely rare figures that will probably not have escaped apple's attention especially since according to another survey by an association of american consumers battery failure is one of the main reasons
43:02
we change phones that damned battery crystallizes apple's planned obsolescence in fact people change their mobile phones every two years in the united states every 22 months in fact and in france it's every two and a half years a cycle of a little over 30 months it's worth making a call to apple france but the press officer shatters any illusion about getting in have you heard anything back from apple no the answer is no which doesn't
43:34
surprise me did they say why they never allow filming on our premises okay no you never give interviews to the media no being a press officer at apple looks easy all you do is say no [Music] we decide to try our luck at apple headquarters near san francisco at cupertino a small town in silicon valley you might think we're totally obsessed
44:10
with apple but we just want some answers and we're not the only ones look these are the raging grannies a group of international activists [Music] they've demonstrated against nuclear power against the war in iraq and now they want to take a big bite out of the apple how much is the cost of obsolescence your profits don't help the world much [Music] their plan is always focused on profits
45:02
if we plan in obsolescence we will make more money down the road that's that's what they want how much for that the raging grannies show up every month at the apple store close to the company's headquarters we have time to kick back a little for three months now all our calls and interview requests have all been turned down the company seems to be everywhere in our lives our computers our phones the news the stock market but as soon as we want
45:33
to ask some real questions there's no one available so we focused on the famous infinite loop apple's headquarters an attempt to approach employees in the parking lot why the battery is not removable on the iphone i don't have any idea you work here i'm actually not allowed to speak today things like that unfortunately do you work here in apple i do work at apple yeah yeah do you know why the battery is not removable on the iphone i have no [Music] as soon as we arrive at the main
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entrance we're immediately stopped she is the press secretary and the muscle man behind her is from security uh filming on campus oh okay so you'll have to shut down the camera but um just wanted to know what you guys are kind of looking yeah yeah uh nice to meet you my name is anna salzberg just have to shut off the camera we would like to ask some questions about the iphone and especially why the battery is not removable you know the best that would be to reach i can give you some um email information
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for our european pr folks um and they can best direct your request unfortunately we aren't able to offer an and interview today and as you know we don't do a ton of interviews i'm sure you yeah well you didn't reply to my email you didn't want no we do have to go through the pro you know the problem yeah try to to to make it through the proper way it doesn't really serve anyone any good the thing is what i don't understand is that the battery is very safe we get that got it we got it completely
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repeat that we got that got it okay so what we're letting you know is what our action plan is excuse me excuse me do you work here yes yeah oh i'm sorry i don't do it i i i would like to know why the battery is not removable and we are trying to interview you can't interview our employees they're not spokespeople here yeah that's not appropriate and this is our campus yeah but how how should i do you're gonna you know i'm gonna i i i told you alex is gonna help you out we're gonna have to ask you to leave now that's not great at all it's all to no avail our questions slide
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off the press officer like a touchscreen and we're kindly requested to vacate the premises siri is an application if you don't have it you're completely out of touch finished a has been use siri and you'll be a winner beautiful handsome with muscles you'll have a big family a real job you'll finally be happy [Music] siri gives you a sense of power you can use your voice to tell your phone what to do should i take
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two out of three ads for the latest 4s promote this feature the iphone is the only one to have it and it's the principal selling point shame siri doesn't work on your old phone [Music] which is surely why sales of the iphone 4s have smashed all records when it came out four million was sold in just three days more than twice the sales of the previous iphone barely a year earlier madness except that some took it as a challenge
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in canada for example [Music] ryan is a hacker well known in the pirate fraternity he managed to install siri on his ipad how many calories in a bagel this might answer your question and also on his old iphone the iphone 4. call home calling home according to apple siri is supposed to work only on the iphone 4s but siri existed before on the iphone 3 gs and four [Music]
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but one day apple sends out a message i've been replaced the new series even smarter and better looking than me i'm waiting for you on the iphone 4s except that the phone doesn't have much to do with whether siri works or not all the recognition is occurring on a server somewhere not on the device so the device is just getting the data from the mic bundling it up and then uploading it all of the hard work happens somewhere else that's a macbook air 2011
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first ipad ipad 2 first iphone we can safely say that sebastian paige loves apple products the frenchman who settled in california set up a blog dedicated to the brand and its iphones [Music] i clean them every time we are sebastian page to test the difference in response times of siri on the left the hacked iphone 4 and on the right the 4s
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here's the weather for today forecast for today through this monday send a message to my wife this is a test [Music] here's [Music] difference siri works in much the same way on both models proof that apple could do it as well i find it a little mean as a sales technique but apple is a company that must answer to its shareholders every year and it has to generate revenue and profit so any means is good
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in a large house not far from chicago siri has a sense of humor as well here's a guy that loves to play with siri siri tell me a joke nothing unusual with that as dag kit klaus is the applications inventor i don't really know any good jokes none in fact come on siri tell me a joke [Music] two iphones walk into a bar i forget the rest syrian dag kit lost millions of dollars the day apple bought his app
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what are you wearing why do people keep asking me this the apple not only bought siri but also the entire company and its employees that was in 2010 dag stayed with apple for 18 more months until he recently resigned i can tell you about traffic or maps yeah way off the mark there siri the interview with this former apple employee might prove touchy as we want to know why siri is not on all iphones as careful what they why they made the decision no but you were there you know of course but
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i can't talk about decisions that were made when i was working at apple why because we have confidentiality siri is working on older devices like iphone 4 and 3gs and even an ipad it's working very well it's not working that well it's not working as well as it works come on one second the difference what is it what's next we ask him again and this time hopefully he'll answer the question
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but the fact is that it forced people to buy a new phone yeah it's true and is it voluntary done to to do that to push people to buy a new one i think lots of companies like to have new features on new products that's normal i think we've covered this siri answers a lot of questions but not necessarily the most important ones can one imagine a world where obsolescence is not the rule but the
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exception and here's a stupid question couldn't manufacturers write the life expectancy of their appliances on a label could they extend the lifespan a little or at least allow us to fix it without spending a fortune it's a matter of reducing pollution as well as for us will we ever be less spellbound by every technological innovation [Music] a little less dependent on our frantic urge to shop and is anyone trying to develop an application
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to answer all these questions [Music] are you sure [Music]
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[Music] [Music] you

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